Today marks the official start of USF week. Between my frequent criticisms of George Selvie and Jim Leavitt (Matt Grothe too, if last year's human interception machine didn't get an early start on his prep for next year's CFL draft), the Bulls take more heat here than any other Big East conference team. Now, their players are accusing Rutgers of running up the score (well, the same guy who said that last year), and vowing to embarrass the Knights at home.
Leavitt is an absolutely terrible coach, but Selvie is the biggest target of my ire. People are starting to acknowledge at this point that, opposite impact JUCO transfer Jason Pierre-Paul, there are no excuses left for why Selvie only has (statistical caveats aside) 3 sacks on the year. Is George Selvie a has-been? In fact, it's more accurate to say that he was a never-was.
Rutgers fans have never bought into the hype with Selvie, and for good reason. In three years, he's made a grand total of one memorable play against the Knights, coming with fooling Anthony Davis on a stunt in last years game. I wish I could take credit for being the first to see that the emperor had no clothes, but all I really did was codify the long-held conventional wisdom of Scarlet Nation.
George Selvie was and remains an absolute, incontrovertible fraud; a one trick pony who put up a single flukey season of gaudy statistics against hapless OOC opponents (counting a horrific pass protector in Auburn's King Dunlap). Against Elon and 2007 North Carolina, Selvie looked good. Everyone else, not so much. His numerous accolades solely the result of the groupthink consensus of people who had not actually bothered to watch his play. Should our players who compiled gaudy numbers against the likes of Texas Southern and Howard get to be All-Americans too? That's ludicrous; without an adequate OOC schedule, they should only be judged by the results of conference play.
This argument isn't that Selvie is solely lacking talent, although I have found myself continually lowering his ceiling. He's a nice speed rusher, but nowhere near the level of difference-making defender that he was sold as. Selvie isn't going to be a first round pick, he shouldn't be the conference player of the year, and he doesn't even have much of a case to make any all-Big East team. Despite the continued existence of Notre Dame and the Big Ten conference, I'm wondering if he's not the most overrated (i.e., a subjective judgment, not an indictment of base talent) player in the country.
Could Rutgers lose to USF next Thursday? Certainly, for a variety of reasons. I'm scared to death of JPP matched up against Kevin Haslam. The Rutgers offensive line is playing poorly, but if they lose to the Bulls, I'm confident in predicting that it won't be because of Selvie.